5 Tips For Buying Wine.

When you're not a wine expert, it's not easy to choose the right bottle for an occasion. If you never know which wines to choose for a gift or to drink during a festive meal, here are 5 tips for buying wine without making a mistake.

1- Addressing a wine merchant.

When it comes to wine, as with any other field, when you don't know what to choose it's better to turn to a specialist. That's why the first of the 5 tips for buying wine without making mistakes is to find a good wine merchant in your neighborhood.

Novices generally fear that bottles will be more expensive there, but that's not true. If you have a limited budget, you're more likely to find a good wine within your price range.

Indeed, unlike supermarkets, independent wine merchants offer small appellations and wines from artisan winemakers at affordable prices. These wines are gems that you won't find anywhere else.

2- Beware of appearances.

When you don't know anything about wine, you can quickly be fooled by appearances and flashy terms written in large letters on the labels.

Beware! Some expressions that seem promising to you, such as "aged in oak barrels", "bottled at the property" or "great wine", are not guarantees of quality!

The same goes for labels. Clothes don't make the man, or rather the label doesn't make the bottle, so it is important to avoid relying on appearances.

The only visible sign that can guide you when buying wine is the presence of a cardboard collar on the neck of the bottle. This collar indicates that the wine has been tested and appreciated by connoisseurs.

3- Do not confuse organic, natural, and naturally made wine.

In the wine section, there is some confusion between natural wine, organic wine, and natural wine. In all three cases, the vines have been grown without pesticides and the winemakers have sought to limit the use of sulfur. Sulfur is an antioxidant that can cause headaches when used in large doses. However, these three expressions are not equivalent. Another tip for buying wine is to clearly distinguish between the three:
• Natural wine is completely devoid of sulfur
• Natural wine contains a very limited amount of sulfur
• On the other hand, organic wine is not necessarily free of sulfites…
Furthermore, organic wines are the only ones to have labels such as the AB label, the European organic label (Eurofeuille), the Demeter label, or the Nature & Progrès label.

4- Respect traditional food and wine pairings.

When one wishes to buy wine for a meal, without being an expert in the field, it is better to play the card of classicism rather than that of audacity.

In practice, this means that it is better to respect the food and wine pairings that are well known and that work every time:
• Muscadet with oysters
• Dry white wine with seafood
• Full-bodied white wine with poultry
• Tannic red wine with beef or duck
• Natural sweet wine with chocolate dessert…

With cheese, red wine is often thought of as the best pairing, but the freshness of white wines can also be a good match with a cheese platter!

5- Turn to local wines.

If you plan to serve a local specialty, the last of the 5 tips for buying wine is to pair your dish with a local wine, from the same terroir.

For example, sauerkraut goes well with Riesling while cassoulet forms a beautiful food-wine pairing with Cahors.

The terroir pairing also works for cheeses, so you can serve Sancerre with Crottin de Chavignol and cider with Camembert!

If you want to learn more about choosing wines, their production, and how to taste them, I recommend the book Le vin en un coup d'œil by Catherine Gerbod and Pierre Herbert, published by First (16.95 €).

In this book designed for beginners, you will discover the basics of oenology (such as the difference between a vine and a grape variety) as well as the best food and wine pairings for your festive meals.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Lynn Friedman on Flickr
Tags: wine, sulfur, Natural wine, terroir, organic wine, camembert, Cider, taste, vin, Catherine, Pierre, beginners, basics, oenology, vine, food, sancerre, cahors, Cassoulet, bottle, organic, pesticides, Antioxidant, Sulfites, organic wines, organic label, Demeter, Nature, Sauerkraut, Riesling, festive meals,
In French: 5 conseils pour acheter du vin
En español: 5 consejos para comprar vino
In italiano: 5 consigli per acquistare il vino.
Auf Deutsch: 5 Tipps zum Weinkauf
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